Nathan has long been considered one of the top providers of race gear. One of Nathan’s most popular running backpacks is the Nathan HPL #020 Race Vest.
- Perfect blend between hydration and storage
- Unbelievably lightweight, fits like a race vest not a backpack
- Gender specific options for fit and color
- Harness system not only allows for movement but adds breathability
- The water nozzle is not a traditional “bite” nozzle, instead it is a “pull out and bite” which can be annoying at times
- Multiple people have complained that over time they have to replace the bladder due to leaking
The Bottom Line
Nathan labels this running pack as “the standard for endurance runners,” and it is nothing less. If you’re looking for a lightweight breathable pack great for endurance running then go with the HPL #020 Race Vest.
Continue reading for a full review…
First off, what does HPL even stand for? Human Propulsion Laboratories. If that’s not a cool name for a lab then we don’t know what is.
Comfort and Fit
There are 3 adjustable straps: the sternum strap and the front 2 shoulder straps. It doesn’t allow for a whole lot of adjustment, but it is enough to find a comfortable fit, which isn’t very hard considering how light this race pack is. The sternum strap is also equipped with a tube clip, though most of the time it didn’t seem all that handy.
You’re not going to get much more lightweight than this running pack, coming in at 10 ounces (dry). The other thing you’ll notice is how loose the pack fits, which is intentional. It utilizes what Nathan calls a “3 way propulsion harness.” Essentially that just means the pack can move (slightly) up and down in rhythm with your running in order to reducer any lateral movement of the bladder.
There is also a shock cord positioned on the back side of the pack for storing jackets or other loose articles. It’s a minimalist pack meant for reducing weight over long runs, but at 275 cu. in. of storage you should be able to take everything you need.
The HPL #020 comes with a 2 liter hydration bladder, which works out to 70 ounces of capacity and is equipped with a pull and bite drink nozzle, which we touched on above.